An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Lingguizhi 靈鬼志

Oct 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Lingguizhi 靈鬼志 "Stories of souls and demons" is an early collection of stories compiled by a Jin period 晉 (265-420) master with the family name Xun 荀. The only fact known of him is that he served as gentleman of interior (langzhong 郎中) of the Prince of Nanping 南平 during the Eastern Jin period 東晉 (317-420). The imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 lists the Lingguizhi as a 3 juan "scrolls" long "miscellaneous history" (zashi 雜史). Later bibliographies qualify it as a collection of stories (xiaoshuo 小說). It must have been lost during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126). It appears from quotations in other books, like the Shishuo xinyu 世說新語, that the Lingguizhi was divided into several chapters talking about specific types of literary genres, like Yaozheng 謠証 "anecdotes". The content of the Lingguizhi dealt with apocryphal matters (divination about the future) as well as with the appearance of ghosts and the spirits of dead, but also with the problem of retribution of deeds in an earlier life, as it is believed in Buddhism.
The surviving parts of the Lingguizhi are included in the reprint series Shuofu 說郛, yet the most complete collection of fragments is to be found in Lu Xun's 魯迅 Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉 from the Republican period.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2169. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.